The Executive Board of the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement - AFD) has approved a Concessional L oan of 150 million euro to support Bangladesh with its cash transfer programs and COVID-19 responsiveness.
The loan will contribute towards the World Bank supported Cash Transfer Modernization Project which seeks to improve the transparency and efficiency of selected cash transfer programs for vulnerable populations by modernizing service delivery.It would also support government efforts to address the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic, said the France Embassy in Dhaka on Thursday.
The project will be co-financed by AFD and the World Bank (as a lead Partner), and includes three components, i.e. (1) Enhancement of Cash Transfer Programs, which incentivizes actions towards improving the business processes under selected cash transfer programs; (2) Modernization of Service Delivery, which provides technical assistance to support the enhancements of technology assets, utilize integrated information systems for targeting and payment, improve citizen engagement, and strengthen the capacity of human resources, and (3) Contingent Emergency Response (CER) to allow project financing to be mobilized rapidly in response to a natural or human-induced shock, disaster or crisis.
The CER component will support Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The loan will provide co-financing of the Old Age Allowance program of the Ministry of Social Welfare (MoSW) and Department of Social Services (DSS) until 2023.
It will directly benefit the country’s most vulnerable populations who are beneficiaries of this, as well as other Ministry of Social Welfare (MoSW) cash transfer programs, as well as non-beneficiaries who may qualify for these programs.